Having had a lot of boats, 16 at last count, spanning 40-years, from 1965 to 2005 I could almost be called an authority on the subject. This is the story on how I moved up from a small 14 footer to my second boat, a 16 footer. The old story is true in my case, that as you grow older, “Your toys only get bigger!”
Carrying a load of firewood into my garage, I didn’t see the garage door wasn’t raised all the way. Bam, I ran into it and dropped the load of wood all over. A month later, as soon as my concussion was healed (some say it never was) we took my first boat out for a try at water skiing. The boat was game, but the 40, horse motor was insufficient to get me up on skis, my ex, being 80 pounds lighter, popped right up, but something had to be done about the boat and motor. That something happened the next weekend. Bill Priddy, one of my old West University friends, worked with me and invited us to go water skiing in Lake Houston with him and his date.
We showed up on time, but Bill and his date and Norman Shelter and his date were sitting in the boat. Wouldn’t 6 be too many, I thought as we loaded up everything? Bill’s boat, a 16-foot fiberglass, lap strake, packed a 65, horse motor and turned out to be a skiing delight. A little strained for getting me up with the crowd aboard, but nice.
It was dead calm as I finally cleared the water and began skiing, nice conditions, flat water, no wind and the thought came to me, Why am I being pulled behind this boat when not over 20 miles from here I could be fishing for trout in Trinity Bay? The thought nagged at me, but wore off as the morning wore on.
While Norman was skiing, we noticed a cloud building up over the south end of the lake and soon, pop-crak, thunder, as the lightning hit. We quickly picked up Norman, headed for the launch ramp and were all thinking, That was too close. Before we got the boat loaded, here came the rain and more lightning. Very exciting, but anyway, we were already all wet!
We decided to wait this storm out and sitting in Bill’s car he thought out loud, “I’m going to get rid of this boat and stick with bass fishing.” The boat seemed to be just what I was looking for, a bigger boat with more horsepower and within 2 weeks, I’d sold my first boat and bought Bill’s for $900.00. The price was a steal, 3 years later, when I bought my third boat, an 18-footer, I got a $1,200.00 trade in for it, even with 2 new motors and all, the cost for the new one was only $2,500.00.
Even though we used it for some water skiing, for the next 3 years, this one became my first real, fishing boat. Just learning about where to fish, when to fish, how to fish, boating safety and boat handling, I finally found my second love, fishing! Brad was getting old enough to fish with me and I had ample opportunity to take my dad, “Unkie” and Dub Middleton, each one of the older guys drilled safety into me! My younger friends Bill, Norman, Dewey Stringer and over 10 years later, Bob Baugh all were eager participants too, that is until moving to Arizona and finding about the wonders of quail hunting!